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Thursday, July 17, 2014

PRAYING IN A TIME OF CRISIS AND CHAOS


I recently listened while someone described the chaos that "will" follow a nuclear bomb launched by Iran, North Korea or independent terrorists and then exploded in the atmosphere, and/or the calamity following a sunspot, as well as the coming revolution in the U.S. where the hordes and roving gangs will murder us for our food and water. I need to say this caused me to pause.

This would not have bothered me so much had I not been memorizing Joel chapter 1 and thinking about the judgment of these days. I need to say that God is very patient. He waited 400 years for the people of Canaan to fill up their sins. He waited longer to bring upon Israel the judgment promised by Moses for rejecting God's revelation. Judgment is in the hands of God. But whether we face it today or God raises up prophets and prayer warriors to turn aside judgment on America and the world, I believe God is telling some of us to teach believers how to pray in such days. Here are some crucial perspectives for prayer that prayer warriors need to adopt for times of crisis.

1. Learn to Pray in the Perspective of Persevering.

In the midst of flagrant persecution Barnabas and Paul told the fledgling churches that "We must enter the kingdom of God through persecution." Jesus said we would have persecution in the world. And we will. We will need a grace for those days that God will not give until they arrive. But we must encourage one another today that persecution in this world is normal for those of us who are overcoming it. We can trust God to enable us to persevere. His own people will successfully endure hardship.

2. Learn to Pray in the Perspective of God's Protection.

You need to have some of the promises of God's protection memorized. Everyone should have Psalm 46 and 91 memorized. The arrow that flies by day and the terror of the night will surely come. You will need such powerful promises instilled into your heart. And you need to be used to praying through them now even though you will understand those promises far better in the coming judgment and the time of trouble.

3. Learn to Pray in the Perspective of the Purpose of God.

Christianity received a great boost in Europe when the plague was devastating whole cities. Christians showed compassion on those afflicted. They gave them food and water, cooled their fevers and comforted their hearts. Christians and people who lived near them were far more likely to survive the plague. Even in good times life is so much better when it is lived for others in the purpose of God. We can still rejoice even  in days of great trial if we have an ultimate purpose.

4. Learn to Pray in the Perspective of Eternity.

How many of our prayers only consider the immediate? Those are not necessarily bad prayers. But they should not be the primary preoccupation of the children of the resurrection. We are the people of eternity who are not dominated by the tyranny of the temporary. We need to enter the calamitous day already in the habit of praying for the work of God in the climax of history.

 

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